Julien Baker gives Soundgarden’s Fell on Black Days a delay-drenched acoustic makeover with haunting new cover

Julien Baker has tackled one of Chris Cornell’s most iconic songs, Soundgarden’s Fell on Black Days, in a new performance on Seattle’s KEXP at Home.

At 42:54 in the video above, Baker strips back the song’s explosive powerchords for a delicate fingerstyle arrangement on her Yamaha acoustic-electric, swamped in delay from her expansive pedalboard.

Of her history with Cornell’s work, Baker says, “I’m a huge fan of all things Cornell and all of his iterations, but I am just particularly super-onboard with Audioslave. And I think that is because they have more of a visceral memory to me, because it was happening when I was growing up.

“I recently was doing a dive back into Soundgarden, and I heard this song, and it was just flooring. I think there are so many cuts off the Soundgarden records, it’s like, every song is so good and so complex, in a way that I feel like doesn’t – maybe it does get represented – but, you know, there’s so much more there underneath the seminal grunge band icon.

“His writing has always just been particularly haunting to me, but also it’s something that I feel very deeply. But it’s a beautiful song.”

The performance also sees Baker take up keyboards and her trademark Fender Tele for full-band arrangements of Faith Healer, Song in E and new single Hardline.

Baker’s new album, Little Oblivions, is out on February 26 via Matador Records – we’ll have more from the pedal-keen singer-songwriter on GuitarWorld.com very soon…

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as more than 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.